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We conducted joint analyses from five randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of online family problem-solving therapy (OFPST) for children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to identify child and parent outcomes most sensitive to OFPST and trajectories of recovery over time.
We examined data from 359 children with complicated mild to severe TBI, aged 5–18, randomized to OFPST or a control condition. Using profile analyses, we examined group differences on parent-reported child (internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, executive function behaviors, social competence) and family outcomes (parental depression, psychological distress, family functioning, parent–child conflict).
We found a main effect for measure for both child and family outcomes [F(3, 731) = 7.35, p < .001; F(3, 532) = 4.79, p = .003, respectively], reflecting differing degrees of improvement across measures for both groups. Significant group-by-time interactions indicated that children and families in the OFPST group had fewer problems than controls at both 6 and 18 months post baseline [t(731) = −5.15, p < .001, and t(731) = −3.90, p = .002, respectively, for child outcomes; t(532) = −4.81, p < .001, and t(532) = −3.80, p < .001, respectively, for family outcomes].
The results suggest limited differences in the measures’ responsiveness to treatment while highlighting OFPST’s utility in improving both child behavior problems and parent/family functioning. Group differences were greatest at treatment completion and after extended time post treatment.
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